It's the first day of school for all the kids in the neighborhood. But not for Rachel "Ratchet" Vance; she's homeschooled. That means nothing new. No new book bag, no new clothes, and no friends, old or new. The best she's got is her notebook. She's supposed to use it for her writing assignments, but her dad never checks. Here's what she's really going to use it for: a top-secret plan to turn her old, recycled, freakish, friendless, motherless life into something shiny and new.